Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Spring in Montana is always unpredictable at best and this year is no exception. With a mild, warm February though, mid-April snowstorms almost seem insulting. However, with a series of March wildfires, I’ll take all the snow we can get! After 4 years I’ve finally learned that when the sun is out we can’t put off going to the park even by a day! While the season is annoying for planning events, it plays into my spontaneous side perfectly!

After our Spring Break adventure, we worked on getting back into the weekly groove and headed off to the park with friends. As we unpacked it was nice enough for John to hang out on the grass, of course with the help of his sister!

Not surprisingly, when Matthew went to send emails later he couldn’t leave the photo alone!

On St. Patrick’s Day Catherine headed off to school, Matthew headed off to catch leprechauns in his classroom and John and I hung out in adorable hats!

We did take a short break from hat wearing to run errands. Not wanting to risk waking a sleeping baby to check to see if he had indeed fallen asleep, I used the wonders of modern technology to check. He was adorably content, but definitely not asleep!

The night before I had attended a cooking with beer class with friends and was determined to recreate the deliciousness at home! Nothing turned out exactly quite right, but it was all delicious. Must be something about mid-March and bread making as my phone reminded me I had been baking bread five years ago as well.

This same week I was preparing for a freezer meal party AND had restocked our freezer with meats. After processing over 40 pounds of meat in various forms one afternoon, it seemed wholly appropriate for dinner that night to be focused on cheese, bread, beer and chocolate!

That week we also headed to the library to finish up Matthew’s spring break homework. He picked up his very own library card and checked out his first books!

John hung out in the baby corner while I helped the kids with the computers (aka reminding them that just because they have headphones on, they don’t need to shout everything - especially in a library!)

We spent more time with the cutest fan ever cheering for Virginia basketball as March Madness progressed.

And John went through the same stages of delight and horror as the rest of the Virginia fans watching the tournament:

I was reminded of the futility of baby socks as I tried to expand John’s wardrobe:

And we squeezed in lots of walks to and from school:

Which made for some good spring birding with some cell phone shots of the neighborhood woodpecker and flicker!

The flicker is quite obnoxious, especially as it drums on the vent pipe to our furnace which then reverberates throughout the house.

John also did his own nature exploring as the ladybug the big kids had been catching/watching climbed up on his hand.

And Matthew did some more photoshopping in his email. This was to his teacher so he decorated it with MSU colors since his teacher is a Bobcat fan!

One day after my volunteer time in Matthew’s reading class, Catherine, John and I joined him for lunch. When the kids eat lunch they have to raise their hands to be excused. Matthew insisted that my word was not good enough and we (especially Catherine) needed the nod of a lunchtime aide.

In other excitement, John gained enough trunk control and sitting stamina to start joining us at the table. Mostly he just likes to throw toys at us!

His new found sitting abilities have also made it a bit easier for him to sit for stories, so we’ve outsourced reading to the big kids. It’s been great practice for Matthew:

And Catherine as well. She loves to retell stories and memorize what Matthew’s read and repeat it. She’s going to be way ahead of where Matthew was when it comes to Kindergarten, if not already reading by then.

We closed out the week with an early egg hunt at a friend’s house. Catherine had a blast!

And it was an absolutely gorgeous day for it. No hunting eggs in the snow this year!

After we picked Matthew up from school we continued the fun with a Friday pizza picnic at the park!

70 degree weather meant John’s adorably chubby thighs could be shared with the world!

Such a cutie!

We followed up the next day with a grey, dreary day and 40mph wind gusts so we tried making squishy play dough circuits at the children’s museum:

With of course a lot of playtime in the rest of the museum. Catherine took her shopping list very seriously:

And brought some fruits and veggies for John to enjoy!

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